The first time I went for a run with a local running group, I went through a series of emotions. I won’t be fast enough, I’m not wearing the right clothes, I don’t know what they are talking about (fartlek anyone?) and truth be told, I didn’t feel welcome.

But I didn’t give up. You see I came to running as an adult and wanted to learn the tricks to running along the Chicago lakefront effortlessly. I had so many questions, and longed for running friends to chat with.

Some running clubs were too competitive, others were too young, others had corporate policies I couldn’t get behind. It took a while, but I finally found a crew and began to understand there is so much more to running friends, than running. Then I had a chance meeting with Lauren Fleshman at a local race, and I knew where I belonged, with the Volée.  

When I moved to Los Angeles, the power of the singlet is what helped me settle into a new city.  

It was at that first run with the local Southern California Volée, I found friends for life. Running was the common thread that brought us together, but my life was deeply enriched by these women. We spent our runs catching up on what they were doing in their local community, celebrating professional wins, and hearing stories about their children. When the opportunity arose to become the local Volée leader, I jumped at the chance to find ways to keep us all connected. I planned running meet-ups, and of course, there were many post race chats about the week’s woes over breakfast burritos.

Earlier this year, I moved to Seattle to work with the Volée on a global level. While we can’t currently connect in real life, we still maintain a team connection in our Volée Community App. In this exclusive space, we share training highs and lows, connect with local friends for virtual happy hours, network for career resources and opportunities, share resources and discussions on ways to be more inclusive teammates, along with many other exclusive team offerings.

Next week, we are opening our team membership, and of course I want everyone to experience this magic. Women from diverse running backgrounds, with different goals coming together to connect, support girls in sport, help elite athletes in their athletic pursuits and to expand their network of those who support women’s rights.

I get it, life today is challenging for many and joining a running team may not be high on your financial needs list. Racing is on hold, some are struggling to provide for families, some are unsure of how to get through the upcoming school year. This is precisely why you need connection and community more than ever.

To make this membership more accessible, we are delighted to offer scholarships for the August 2020 Volée Team Opening and Renewal. We believe in inclusion and the value of a diverse Volée. We also know that some womxn may not have the funds for a membership, but would greatly contribute to and benefit from being part of this team.

Whether you are a returning member or new to the Volée, if you are facing a financial hardship we do hope you will apply. We have a saying in the Volée; There is Power in the Singlet. We want all womxn to experience that power of a team.

Please apply here for a full membership scholarship. Scholarship applications will be accepted from Monday, August 3rd, until midnight August 10th, and awardees will be notified by Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

To learn more about the Volée, the programs the team supports, and see where teammates are located, please review this page. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me directly at

August 03, 2020 — Carolyn Gardner
Tags: team

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